In a recent document, I advanced the point that the integrity of anything, a bridge for example, depends on the integrity of each of its components. The same also applies when trying to establish the integrity of any academic writing. All standards must be met.
Voting on election-day was peaceful and efficient. The international observers declared that our elections were ‘credible’. But was this the case? A numerical problem at the end must now draw our attention to a systemic fault, which was there at the beginning of the electoral process – that of the incomplete house-to-house registration and a faulty voters’ list. These came about because of protests.
An electoral process was set in motion with flaws from the beginning. But we are now only focusing on the flaws manifesting at the end. Remember, on a matter of ‘principle’, the integrity or credibility of the whole depends on the integrity or credibility of each of its components (referenced to my opening paragraph).
A very clear example can be drawn from the problems now facing an airline manufacturer. One of its planes had a design fault, but was cleared to fly. After two fatal crashes, should we blame the pilots or the flawed computer system on that specific model of aircraft?
Guyana put to ‘flight’ a flawed electoral system. Now that we have problems, we are looking to blame the ‘pilots’.
Let us scrap these elections and put a more reliable system in place, ensuring that all of its components are credible and remain credible throughout the process. A flawed system can never give accurate results – period! This leads us to the point of having electronic voting with facial recognition and fingerprint scanning to match each voter’s ID card.
The international community can assist in helping Guyana to acquire a state-of-the-art computerised voting system in the shortest possible time. In the interim, the government remains, but with special parliamentary accommodation for the opposition.
Guyana will be here forever, so what would it cost to wait just a few more years to fix the electoral system? Every good political party will have a chance to govern in time.
Thanks to the international observers whose presence here and around the world has helped in the quest for peace and transparency.
Finally, it must be re-emphasized that “wisdom is better than weapons of war”.